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One thing in life is certain. We're all going to die. No one wants to think about the end of life, much less talk about it, but it may be the most important conversation we'll ever have.
Maggie Wannemacher learned this the hard way-when both of her parents died within days of each other, a trauma that forced her, as their caregiver, to decide "when enough was enough." In the aftermath, she and her siblings suffered for years from the lack of guidance and preparation that should have given them certainty and peace of mind when they needed it most.
Now a hospital chaplain and hospice social worker, Wannemacher has experienced thousands of end-of-life conversations with patients and their families. These conversations have taught her one thing: there is a flaw in our health care system when it comes to implementing patients' wishes about end-of-life care.
In this important work on Advance Care Planning, Maggie Wannemacher, MSW, LSW, lays out a plan to guide not only patients and their families, but all of us, to thoughtfully consider options beyond CPR and artificial ventilation in case of health crisis. Her real-life examples and step-by-step approach toward a Guided Conversation offer a way to restore the dignity and control patients often lose when they don't understand their rights and options. Wannemacher also includes a plan to implement community-wide efforts to stimulate and document comprehensive Advance Care Planning that follows the patient throughout the life cycle.
This conversation shouldn't wait. Let's Talk About It. Now